Virgin Steele Reissues Classics

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Monday, October 28, 2002 @ 1:31 AM

Historic Reissues Available on

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New York's VIRGIN STEELE Releases Classic Debut 'Virgin Steele I' and 'Guardians Of The Flame' on November 26th Through NOISE Records

New York's VIRGIN STEELE has made an indelible effect on the heavy metal community, pioneering an art form that married traditional heavy metal elements with vibrant symphonic & operatic themes & undertones. The band's importance over these 20 years cannot be denied, though their first 2 albums ('Virgin Steele I' and 'Guardians Of The Flame') have never been available on CD. Auctions and collectibles sales eclipse $200 frequently for the vinyl versions of these rarities, and for years, faithful heavy metal fans have been clamoring for proper CD releases of these gems. Thankfully, David DeFeis and Noise Records heard the cries, and on November 26, 2002, 'Virgin Steele I' and 'Guardians Of The Flame' will see light of day in re-mastered & restored Compact Disc format, with numerous bonus tracks!

Originally released in 1982, 'Virgin Steele I' had the honor of being the first release ever for the Music For Nations label (they were later followed by the likes of W.A.S.P., Manowar, Mercyful Fate and Metallica). The disc not only served as an appropriate launching point for a band that would forge the genre of symphonic heavy metal, but it captured the energy & spontaneity of American heavy metal in its youth. 'Virgin Steele I' was initially recorded & mixed in less than one week and introduced American bands to a sound heavily influenced by the then booming NWOBHM. The 2002 version of the album boasts the original cover art and features an assortment of unreleased demo tracks, polished original mixes, and demo versions for future recordings!

'Guardians Of The Flame' burst onto the scene in 1983 and exhibited a marked improvement for the band, both in song-writing prowess and recording quality (utilizing 24-track analog equipment). More aggressive and bold than its predecessor, the album proved that VIRGIN STEELE was definitely coming into its own and would continue to evolve. The CD issue includes the tracks from the ever-elusive 'Wait For The Night' EP and an extended version of the exclusive additional track from its European counterpart 'A Cry In The Night'. 'Guardians Of The Flame' also features an exclusive live recording from 1990 of a previously unavailable song, the mesmerizing, bluesy "Blues Deluxe Oreganata (I Might Drown)". Although the front cover is a new interpretation, the inlay booklet graciously includes original cover art for the album as well as the 2 EPs.

Restored and re-mastered by David DeFeis, and presented for the first time ever on CD, these works can now be enjoyed with the benefit of full sonic clarity. VIRGIN STEELE is currently preparing some additional end of the year USA performances, before touring Europe at the beginning of the New Year. In the meantime, delve into these 2 nearly lost classics and relive the early years celebrating the glory of a ground-breaking band!

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